From the internationally best-selling author of Measuring the World and F, an eerie and supernatural tale of a writer's emotional collapse.
"It is fitting that I'm beginning a new notebook up here. New surroundings and new ideas, a new beginning. Fresh air."
This passage is from the first entry of a journal kept by the narrator of Daniel Kehlmann's spellbinding new novel. It is the record of the seven days that he, his wife, and his four-year-old daughter spend in a house they have rented in the mountains of Germany - a house that thwarts the expectations of the narrator's recollection and seems to defy the very laws of physics. He is eager to finish a screenplay for a sequel to the movie that launched his career, but something he cannot explain is undermining his convictions and confidence, a process he is recording in this account of the uncanny events that unfold as he tries to understand what, exactly, is happening around him - and within him.
"A beautifully crafted exercise in terror from one of Germany's most celebrated contemporary authors.... This novel is, in many ways, a classic haunted-house tale. There are warnings about the house from the people in the village below. There's a creeping sense of horror. There are frightening phenomena that the narrator cannot explain. And there are specters. Kehlmann uses all these familiar tropes beautifully. But he also creates a sense of existential dread that transcends the typical ghost story.... A book to keep you up at night." (Kirkus Reviews)
"My favorite German novelist. [Ian McEwan, The Sunday Times (London)]
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Great idea, but poorly executed or incomplete.